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Mekong Delta day tour – Cai Rang floating market

Mr. Ninh arranged a wonderful trip for us from Saigon to the Cai Rang floating market. I tried to arrange a day trip to Cai Rang with other more reviewed Mekong delta tour groups with no luck. They would only go to Cai Be in one day, which is not the same as Cai Rang.  All in all, a great tour and just what I wanted!

Mekong Delta day tour – Cai Rang floating market

June 5, 2016

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7 days Bhutan Tour Package

Day 01: Landing in Paro, Bhutan and sightseeing in Paro – Journey to Thimphu. Bhutan is almost a secluded country and your landing to this tiny Thunder Dragon kingdom itself is extraordinary in its own little ways. Once in the nation’s only airline the Drukair, you will have a breathtaking sight of the great Himalayan […]

Day 01 Landing in Paro, Bhutan and sightseeing in Paro – Journey to Thimphu.

Day 02 Thimphu – Punakha.

Day 03 Punakha – Wangdue – Gantay.

Day 04 Gantay to Thimphu.

Day 05 Thimphu Sightseeing.

Day 06 Thimphu – Paro & Sightseeing.

Day 07 Departure From Paro Airport.

Day 01: Landing in Paro, Bhutan and sightseeing in Paro – Journey to Thimphu.

Bhutan is almost a secluded country and your landing to this tiny Thunder Dragon kingdom itself is extraordinary in its own little ways. Once in the nation’s only airline the Drukair, you will have a breathtaking sight of the great Himalayan peaks including the Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world and many other peaks in the Kanchenjunga range. This adventure will be soon followed by the air view of the Paro valley which is adorned with lush green coniferous forests, in the valley of which is located the Paro International Airport, where our representative will welcome you wholeheartedly with a pleasant smile. What will amaze you more is the beautiful meandering of the Pachhu (Paro River) that drains the Paro Valley which in the autumn season are fully in ripe with paddy. Before you could leave the Airport for the most hospitable hotel, the sighting of Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watchtower) on the hills above the town will distract you to discover the Typical Bhutan in its pure aboriginal form. However, you will have to clear the formalities at the Airport to reach the best hotel, which we will book for your best convenience.

Afternoon:

Now that having seen the external beauty of the Paro Ta Dzong, you would be tempted to see what is inside it; therefore, it will be our moral responsibility to take you to the Ta Dzong (National Museum) formerly a watchtower. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts, weapons, coins, stamps and a small natural history collection. Then walking down the hillside trail, we will reach Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong), which is situated at a commanding height overlooking Paro valley which was built by great saint Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646. This dzong now house the offices of the civil administration and the Monastic body of Paro rabdey, thus signifying the true blend of religious and secular heads in the country.

After that, we will visit Kyichu Lhakhang (temple), which is one of the oldest and most sacred temples of the Kingdom as its establishment date back to as early as 7th century.

Towards the evening, as you travel towards Thimphu, the Capital city of Bhutan, which is an hour drive from Paro, we will visit Tacho Lhakhang, and here in the capital city, you will spend your first night in peaceful Bhutan in one of the finest hotels of the country.

 

Day 02: Thimphu – Punakha.

For a time being, the amazing sites in Thimphu will remain a surprise for you, because soon after an early breakfast, we will drive you towards the next district, i.e. Punakha. Climbing up hills through beautiful evergreen pine forests, you will soon have an amazing sight of Druk Wangyal Chorten, a series of 108 tiny stupas surrounding a big one and a beautiful temple exhibiting the true cultural identity of the country on top of a pass called Dochu La (3,088m/ 10,130 ft. If the skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right); Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Teri gang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7,060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana, and finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.

From Dochu-la pass, it is a long, winding descent into Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang valley, which is about 1,700m below the pass. We will stop for lunch at Lobesa. After lunch, you will visit Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. Punakha was Bhutan’s capital until 1955 and Punakha Dzong still serves as the winter residence of the central monk body. Bhutan’s first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned there in 1907. The fortress withstood several damages from fire, earthquake and flood over the centuries. The latest flood, in October, 1994, caused great damages to the fortress but miraculously spared its most holy statue, which you can see it today also.

While in Punakha region, you will get this opportunity to visit Chimmi Lhakhang temple built in 1499 by Lama Drukpa Kuenley who was famously known as the “divine madman”. Hearing how he had subdued the demons would simply shock and stun you, so this for a time being, we will keep it as a surprise for you. A wooden effigy of the Lama’s thunderbolt is being preserved in the Lhakhang, which is believed to have certain spiritual powers to restore fertility to childless women. Thus, many childless women visit the temple to get blessings.

A pleasant stay in a hotel in Punakha would add more glamour to your already stunned two-day stay in this kingdom of happiness.

 

Day 03: Punakha – Wangdue – Gantay.

After an early breakfast, we will drive towards Wangdue district, but I am sure, this sight of the ruins of magnificent Wangdue Dzong will sadden you, after hearing how we the Bhutanese lost this three-century-old fortress to fire in the summer of 2012, which of course was one of the biggest disaster the nation has faced.  Near the ruins, we will take you for a brief visit to the Rada Lhakhang.

Then it is about two hours drive before you land in the valley of Black Necked Cranes in Phobjikha but the Gangtey Gonpa (temple) which was built on a small hillock surrounded by blue pine trees will greet you first. A descendant of Pema Lingpa (the great Bhutanese saint of Bumthang) built the Gonpa in the 16th century and it is a Nyingmapas (Tibetain Buddhist) monastery. At the end of the 17th century, it was enlarged once and at present, it is headed by the ninth reincarnation called Gangtey Trulku. It was run by the family houses of Gomchens (layman), who worship and work at the monastery.

Further down, you will reach the Phobjikha valley, the marshes of which serves as the winter roosting place for the black Necked Cranes which fly all the way from the Tibetan plateau.  The people out here have become friendly with the endangered species and every consecutive year starting from the 2nd week of November to the 1st week of April the fields and marshes of this undisturbed valley offer a truly magnificent sight as you watch the cranes.

The journey being little long through the mountain roads, you might get tired so in a hotel with a serene environment, you will be halted for the night.

Day 04; Gantay to Thimphu.

After early breakfast, we will arrange visit and sightseeing to the local villages to offer you an experience of how the rural Bhutanese spent their life and earn their living, and will drive back to Thimphu. On the way, depending on the availability of time, we will stop where you wish to enjoy the true scenic beauty of Bhutanese villages and the natural forests.

 

Day 05: Thimphu Sightseeing.

On the fifth day of your stay in Bhutan, you are expected to be in the capital city so after breakfast, you will be escorted to the National Memorial Chorten, built in memory of late 3rd King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in 1974. Then it will be our pleasure to visit you to Changangkha monastery (Temple), which was built in 12th century, the viewpoint where we can get a bird’s eye view of the capital Thimphu.

Visit will also be made to Takin Zoo in Motithang (our National animal), and then visit the Nunnery, which is NGO in the Kingdom. Visits will be made to National library, School of Arts and Crafts, Government Handicrafts Emporium and Traditional Handmade Paper Factory and Goldsmith & Silversmith unit.

While in the capital, you will also get an opportunity to visit Tashi Chhoedzong (National Headquarter) and the house of the National Parliament after exploring the various handicrafts store in the town.

After lunch, some highlight visits will be the Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum and visit Dechen Phordrang which is a monastic School.  Visits will also be made to the General Post Office, where you can see the finest stamps of Bhutan, and a three-minute drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where we can see medicines which are prepared from plants, flowers and animal’s bones according to ancient practices.

With the sighting of these surprises in the capital, you will experience the third night in the Capital of Bhutan.

Day 06: Thimphu – Paro & Sightseeing

After an early breakfast, we will drive back to Paro. While in Bhutan, one of the must visit spectacular site is the Paro Taktshang, popularly known to the outsiders as Tigers Nest. A few minutes’ drive from Paro town towards the north, and perching on the steep cliff is the fortress of flying tigress, and you should be prepared to walk up the steep hills for atleast two hours. But it is a general experience that our guest, out of zeal to reach the top and faith in the flying tigress, had never complained of arduous journey and made to the site in ease after crossing the soothing river, and passing through the moss laden woods.

While in the valley, you can experience and feel how close you are to nature and visit some Farm House where you will be able to see the lifestyle of the villagers of Paro. In the afternoon if you are left with some energy you could visit the town for shopping or leisure at Paro, before spending the night in a hotel in Paro, which of course is your last night in Bhutan as well.

Day 07: Paro .

Early morning drive to airport for your home destination.

 

TASHI DELEK

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